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  • 1078
  • Date :
  • 5/25/2011

2011 No.4 Antivirus:

Norton AntiVirus 2011


Publisher: Symantec Corporation

Version: 2011

Pros: Norton 2011 improves on all the great features from last year and adds a few more. Norton AntiVirus continues to provide proved protection while maintaining a light footprint.

Cons: The performance issues of a few years ago are gone, but Norton still doesn"t always play nice with other applications, or uninstall completely.

The Verdict: Norton"s most basic antivirus protection is superior to most of the competition, and includes some features you simply won"t find elsewhere.


Norton AntiVirus Review

Norton AntiVirus 2011 is a very impressive security solution, offering a complete lineup of robust features and a whole new approach to online security. As one of the best antivirus software available, Norton AntiVirus continues to improve their software, and in turn- improve your security. With continued innovation and effective implementation, the 2011 installment should keep Norton customers happy (and give reason for the disgruntled nay-sayers to reconsider).

Let’s face it, Symantec/Norton has been a huge player in the antivirus market, pioneering the software from the get-go. And with popularity comes extra critics.

Norton has suffered with several complaints in years previous about software bloat and overzealous resource usage. But the last few years have turned that complaint completely on end, offering a speedy solution with a focus on efficient resource management. Norton AntiVirus 2011 remains an impressively lean and quick program, while adding some compelling features specifically engineered to catch the most lethal viruses (the ones that aren’t found by traditional security signatures).

Norton AntiVirus 2011 does a great job of balancing system resources, simplicity, and (most importantly) security. The protection level is second to none, and new features continue to set the standard for antivirus software. Norton has managed to use their unique strengths to deliver an excellent antivirus program with a great overall user experience (whether you’re a security pro or you just need software that does the hard work for you). Long story short: Norton AntiVirus 2011 has all the right features (plus some), the software works, works well, and doesn’t require you to seriously sacrifice resources.


Scope of Protection: 

The strength of the software comes from the comprehensive coverage provided by several layers. Each component is thorough, and combine to provide protection from all angles. And while last year’s newest features were only available to customers using the most popular web browsers, Norton now supports a large number of browsers (Chrome, Opera, Safari), email clients (Outlook and Outlook Express) IM clients(Yahoo, AOL and MSN Messenger), download managers (FileZilla) and even P2P sharing clients (Bittorrent, Limewire).

Traditional Signature Based Protection is the first line of defense. And while other technologies are being developed to get the viruses that signatures can’t, fingerprinting and signature protection are still essential. Norton’s huge (and growing) database of known malware will keep your computer safe from threats. One of the best parts about AntiVirus 2011 is the continuation of Norton Insight technology. This feature allows Norton to only scan the files that might be at risk, bypassing the trusted files and files that haven’t changed, so the scans don’t waste time and run significantly quicker (not to mention smarter), even getting quicker over time.

SONAR 3 is Norton’s next iteration of the advanced heuristic protection technology. SONAR stands for Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response, and takes a proactive approach to detecting malware by observing file behavior in real-time to monitor malware-like behaviors to stop viruses (that either manage to bypass other methods or are new enough that they haven’t been tagged as malware) before they have the chance to infect your computer.

Traditional signatures and advanced heuristics are great (and Norton does a great job with them), but one thing that really sets Norton apart is their technologies that are attempting to find that last 1% of viruses that are so new or tricky they can’t be caught by other methods. This unique and innovative approach is based on reputation scanning, and the two main features in this endeavor are Download Insight and Reputation Technology.

Norton Reputation Service is the proactive security measure from Symantec. Basically, it involves a special algorithm to analyze files and determines their relative threat based on reputation, based on their source, digital signature, age, and popularity. This innovative technology isn’t a specific tool or feature, it is an overall approach that works in conjunction with several Norton technologies to deliver a more balanced, efficient security solution.

Download Insight is specifically designed to stop new malware before you accidentally/mistakenly download it.

Basically, Norton provides you with necessary information on any file (obtained from years of research and anonymous information provided by the Norton Community Watch) immediately when you attempt to download it, so you can make an informed decision. This happens in real-time, so you don’t have to wait. The File Insight gives you access to a good deal of information (number of users, reputation, where it came from), but if you don’t want it you can configure the software to only show you when a risky file is found.

More than just offering you reputation insights when you are about to download something, NAV 2011 now includes a special reputation scan to search all of your current files and give you info on each one. The utility can also help improve awareness by offering insight on how your individual PC and computing habits compare to the network of worldwide users.

The only time a warning popup appears is if you’re attempting to download a file that hasn’t been deemed trustworthy yet. For example, let’s say you go to facebook (but in actuality it is a fake malware trap) and are prompted to install a new codec to view some video. If Download Insight warns you that the download isn’t trusted and may be harmful, you might want to reconsider (after all, what are the chances that you’re the first to try and download this codec?).



Norton AntiVirus is certainly effective at protecting your computer; now more-so than ever. AntiVirus 2011 is equipped to protect your computer from viruses, Trojans, worms, bots, spyware, rootkits, hackers, and other malware threats, whether they’re online or in emails or IM messages. The traditional virus detection method of matching signatures is robust, and constantly updated to protect your computer. Advanced heuristic detection has become the standard in antivirus software, and Norton does a good job of proactively analyzing files and their behavior to stop suspicious malware. But the technology that directly addresses the newest threats is the reputation scanning.

Norton"s antivirus software is effective, and professional testing organizations agree. Norton has been recognized as one of the most effective antivirus software available, and with their focus on speed and efficiency, they’re also rated among the fastest. Let’s just say that with the 2011 version you certainly don’t have to choose between efficacy and efficiency; with Norton AntiVirus you get strength, speed, and security.


Ease of Installation: 

Norton AntiVirus has been designed to be fast and straightforward, and that starts from the second you download the program. Direct download of the software means that you don’t have to wait for the boxed copy to show up, and can install immediately. The whole installation process is straightforward and quick. In fact, Norton’s installation process actually abandons the traditional Microsoft Windows installer and uses their proprietary technology for an even quicker installation that takes less than a minute.


Ease of Use: 

Norton AntiVirus 2011 is completely easy to use, and even easy to understand. The straightforward interface is easy to navigate and makes it simple to get the most out of the program. The whole program is streamlined and intuitive, which makes it easy to navigate the software, even performing some advanced functions without professional know-how or techno gymnastics.

The software is actually quite flexible, and is quite capable of accommodating a variety of users. If you’re looking for a set-and-forget security solution, Norton AntiVirus is a great solution (you can set the software to run automatically and only require user input as a last resort). Of course the software is also robust enough to satisfy the security pros, and provides a wealth of stats and behind-the-scenes information to help experts completely control the software.

The updated interface design features a global threat map with continuously updated locations of detected threats (where they were found, NOT where they originated) and localized information on current security news. There is also a dock at the bottom of the main dashboard where you can access and manage additional Norton web services like Online Family, online backup or Safe Web.

Continued from last year, the System Insight feature allows you to “look under the hood” of the UI to see the performance from the back end.

 This tool lets you monitor not just Norton’s impact, but your entire computer performance. You can see when you (or more likely the software) ran scans, found security threats, or downloaded/installed programs. The graphs are informative in and of themselves, but you can also scroll over and/or click specific events and view additional details and information.

But you will also see detailed graphs and information that can help you see which programs are slowing down your PC the most. In fact, if an application is causing some serious slowdown, you can see an alert letting you know what’s happening and which program is the culprit.

Furthermore, you can optimize the system to increase speed and overall performance (memory, applications, startup time) with a single-click optimization button. Or you can let the software optimize your PC automatically when the computer is idle (like the auto scans).



The 2011 edition of Norton AntiVirus is feature-filled, but not at the expense of sacrificing speed and performance. Each feature works towards the ultimate goal of complete PC protection.

One great feature is the additional vulnerability protection that Norton provides. Since so many security threats infiltrate through specific “holes” in applications, browsers or the OS, Norton proactively helps you stay on top of the most recent patches and security updates.

Another really nice feature is the “Silent” gamer mode. When you’re in full screen mode (for a game, movie, or presentation), the last things you want are annoying popups or other programs to hog your PC resources. If you use the Silent Mode, you don’t have to worry about either. Furthermore, Norton AntiVirus is setup with a Smart Scheduler to automatically delay routine scans to only perform when your PC is idle (and you can adjust how long of idling is really “idle”).

If you’ve ever had a completely crashed computer, you know how important it is to have a bootable recovery disc available. Norton 2011 comes with a bootable recovery tool to create an emergency disc (CD or USB drive) to effectively boot and fix a crashed PC.

One new tool is the Norton Power Eraser. This tool is specifically designed to locate and remove fake AV programs that are notorious for being hard to remove. Even better, this tool is available for free to anyone, not just paying Norton users.

Another free tool that anyone can take advantage of is Norton Safe Web for Facebook. Tons of users are already enjoying the security from Safe Web while using search engines, and now that protection is available for Facebook. The free tool scans your wall and flags every link as secure or dangerous, so you don’t have to worry about clicking on that virus hidden under the guise of “a video your friend posted of you.”



Norton updates are quick and easy (and don’t require you to do anything). Updates are delivered every 5 to 15 minutes. These Pulse Updates have two distinct advantages: they’re often enough that you’re always up to date with the most current patches, and they’re small enough that they deliver quickly and seamlessly, without any noticeable slowdown (or annoying announcement) for the user.

Of course you can also run a manual LiveUpdate at any time.


Help & Support: 

Norton products from Symantec have a number of outlets for getting additional help or product support, and Antivirus 2011 is especially loaded with resources since it’s one of their flagship consumer-level products. In-product help includes a thorough user’s manual, quick access to online help, and an innovative integrated auto-fix feature (self diagnoses and fixes common problems).

Online, you can find support in the forms of FAQs, tutorials, product comparisons, and a professional support center. You can get personalized help with problems running the software, or even assistance with viruses and malware removal. Help is available (and free) over the phone, email, or online live chat.

There is also an active community of Norton users, and a variety of forums, blogs and additional resources that are available to get help or just more information on a number of security topics.



Overall, Norton AntiVirus 2011 is one of the best antivirus software for any user. More than just popularity, Norton delivers solid performance and protection. Norton AV 2011 has all the right features, innovative technology, and it’s easy to use. The software is easy on resources, and specifically engineered for optimal protection.

Whether you’re looking for one of the most powerful antivirus software, or simply need an easy to use security solution, Norton AntiVirus 2011 is a great way to go. We were very impressed with the overall performance and exciting new features.

Source: toptenreviews. com

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